A PLUNGE INTO THE DREAMTIME

By AMA with Artkhade

Paris, 7 September 2018

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The Aboriginal arts of Australia may be diverse, but they’re characterised by a certain unity and a distinctive identity. An identity that is expressed in multiple ways and variations, all inspired by the common theme dubbed as the “Dreamtime”.

They call it the Dreamtime. Sometimes alternatively written as the “Dream Time” or “Dream-time”, this concept was named by Francis James Gillen, a pioneer in the field of scientific anthropology, who used it to describe the mythology of the Arrernte (from central Australia), one of the 600 Aboriginal ethnic groups that were identified at the time. If there are different ways to write the term, it’s because it’s the translation of the word “Altyerrenge”, drawn from one of the indigenous languages that have existed in Australia for several thousands of years. This lexical hesitation translates our awkwardness in importing a given idea and its representation from another culture. But even if the Dreamtime may be hard for Westerners to grasp, it is nonetheless a key to the Aboriginals’ [.../...]

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Tags: Oceanic Art, Aboriginal Art, Events


A new tribute to Jean Rouch

By Artkhade with Art Media Agency

Paris, 20 September 2017

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A prolific man, Jean Rouch directed more than 180 films. He was also well versed in poetry and ethnology. Today, several institutions are celebrating the centenary of his birth.

In 1957, Jean Rouch released Moi, un Noir, a film shot in pre-independence Cote d’Ivoire, which followed the daily lives of three Nigerian migrants. When the film came out, Jean-Luc Godard wrote three articles about the director and hailed him as the “free man” that he was: “the title on Jean Rouch’s calling card says it all: researcher for the Musée de l’Homme, the Museum of Man. Could a finer definition exist for the filmmaker?” Several years later, in 1960, Godard even contemplated titling his first feature film Moi, un Blanc — which posterity would come to know as À bout de souffle.

Going back to Rouch, this filmmaker discovered Niger at the age of twenty-five, and fervently explored its capital, Niamey, before pushing the doors of Africa open wider. As a connoisseur of the continent, this “free man” produced work that stands out for its [.../...]

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Tags: Oceanic Art, African Art, Events


Barbier-Mueller: four generations of collectors

By Artkhade with Art Media Agency

Paris, 3 September 2017

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To celebrate the 40th birthday of the Musée Barbier-Mueller, the Biennale Paris is welcoming a selection of 130 works from this Swiss family’s personal collections. An opportunity to retrace a passion and a saga.

For the Barbier-Muellers, collecting is part of the family history… It started off with the grandfather, Josef Mueller, then continued with the mother, Monique, the father, Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, and today the three sons, Gabriel, Stéphane, Thierry, as well as Diane, one of the granddaughters. Four generations of collectors that the Biennale Paris has chosen to honour through a selection of works from their collection, some of which have never been unveiled to the public. “The idea was to set up a dialogue between major pieces from four generations of collectors with very different tastes by recreating the atmosphere of Josef Mueller’s apartment, where modern paintings stood alongside primitive-art objects,” is the way that Laurence Mattet, director of the Musée Barbier-Mueller in Geneva, puts it. Sculptures and [.../...]

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Tags: African Art, Oceanic Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Asian Art, Events, Art Market


3 questions for… Alain de Monbrison

By Artkhade with Art Media Agency

Paris, 3 September 2017

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  • What, in your opinion, is the main asset of the Barbier-Mueller collection?

A.d.M.: First of all, the fact that it’s gathered very coherent sets of objects, as precious as they’re simple. The archaeological bronzes of the Vietnamese Dông Son civilisation comes to mind, but also the African chairs, a legacy of Josef Mueller that Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller took care to add to. It’s also a universal collection which gathers objects from Africa as well as Oceania or Indonesia. Not forgetting its Pre-Columbian art objects which comprise a key collection. It’s also exceptional for the rarity of certain pieces that are listed nowhere else… and for the beauty that unites all the objects.

  • How was Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller a great collector?

A.d.M.: For his eye that was so unique and accurate… and his great erudition. Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller was a cultivated man who left nothing to chance. When he started up a collection, he invested in it entirely. He studied every object, consulted the best ethnologists and historians. He [.../...]

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Tags: Asian Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Oceanic Art, African Art, Interviews, Events


Christie’s announces the arrival of Bruno Claessens as European head of African and Oceanic Art

By Artkhade with Art Media Agency

Paris, 18 March 2016

Christie's

Christie’s has entrusted its African and Oceanic Art department in Europe to Bruno Claessens.

After growing up in Antwerp, Belgium, Bruno Claessens worked as a researcher into African art at Yale University’s Van Rijn Archives. Having published widely in the domain, he is preparing a new book, Baule Monkeys, to be published this year by Fonds Mercator. The work of Bruno Claessens is notably publicised by his blog on African arts.

Working between Paris and Brussels, Bruno Claessens will be collaborating with Susan Kloman, the department’s global director, and consultant Pierre Amrouche. His appointment is expected to inject new dynamism into the department while keeping up the fine sales results established in Paris. On the occasion of the TEFAF, the department is putting together an upper-end selection, to be placed on sale in New York on 12 May.

Tags: Oceanic Art, African Art, Events, Art Market


Museum of the future: tool of soft power?

By Artkhade with Art Media Agency

Paris, 7 January 2016

Museum

In 1990, the American professor Joseph Nye developed, in his book Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power, the idea of “soft power”. Used in the field of international relations, this concept describes the ability of a political actor to influence indirectly – by means of structural, cultural or ideological – and without coercion, the behaviour of other actors.

Twenty-five years later, Gail Dexter Lord -co-founder and co-president of Lord Cultural Resources– and Ngaire Blankenberg – senior consultant at Lord Cultural Resources -proposed an update of the concept of soft power, by operating in particular a displacement of its scope (Cities, Museums and Soft Power, The AAM Press, 2015). Art Media Agency met Gail Dexter Lord for more information.

  • To start with, how do you define the notion of soft power?

Soft power means the will and ability to influence people and cause behaviour through peaceful and cultural means. It is opposed to hard power, more coercive.

Today, we think that it is [.../...]

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Tags: African Art, Oceanic Art, Asian Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Aboriginal Art, Exhibitions, Events


The Desire of Transparency in the Art Market

By Artkhade with Art Media Agency

Paris, 5 January 2016

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Fraud, money laundering, trafficking in cultural property, tax optimization, artificial increases of prices, confidentiality and anonymity… many dangerous hurdles, attributed to the art market, that for many elude to rules that have become an imperative necessity. Among the scandals involving diverse spheres of personalities and perplexed records in auction sales, we can equally cite a loss in standardisation and harmonization in the legal international disposals and especially the specificities of a lost market by subjectivity – justifying an irregularity and exaggeration of prices. The whole thing is encircled by an opaqueness and rigour silence. So which solutions are implemented today, for more clarity on the market that condenses as many singular facts?

The unexplored darkness of the tired and shaking art market

The USA Today, after the success of the autumn sales in New York, headlined: “Has art become a criminal enterprise?” Soaring prices, sometimes verging on irrational, leaves some [.../...]

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Tags: Native American Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Asian Art, Oceanic Art, African Art, Events


Jerôme Bastianelli becomes delegated Director General at Quai Branly Museum

By Artkhade with Art Media Agency

Paris 16 July 2015

Jerôme

Jérôme Bastianelli was appointed Managing Director of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, where he will take office beginning 13 July 2015.

Jérôme Bastianelli succeeds Mouttalib Karim, Deputy CEO of the Quai Branly Museum since 2009, this year named General Director of the Louvre Museum. He has occupied, since 2009, the functions of assistant Director General Deputy Delegate of the Quai Branly Museum, under Stéphane Martin’s presidency. Inaugurated in 2006, the museum of arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, is one of the most visited museums in the world in its category, with around 1.5 million visitors a year.

A former student of the Ecole Polytechnique, Jérôme Bastianelli was posted in the Ministry of Transport from 1996 to 2006. He was also a reporter at the 7th Chamber of the Court of Auditors from 2006 to 2009, as well as the leader of the external audit United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Tags: Aboriginal Art, Native American Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Asian Art, Oceanic Art, African Art, Events


“A deep affinity”: Surrealism and Tribal Art

By Artkhade with Art Media Agency

Paris, 15 May 2015

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In 1920, many artists in Western Europe harboured a deep contempt for materialist bourgeois society and its arrogant faith in science and technology, a society which, since the First World War, the Dada movement had aimed to disturb with their provocative works. In 1920, however, new means of expression were being developed, and non-European objects had become increasingly common. More than 30 years prior to this, Gauguin had turned towards traditional Oceanian cultures to find the necessary resources for the new means of expression that he wanted to develop, starting by acquiring two Minkissi statuettes from the Congo, which he displayed at the Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1889. A little later, in the 1900s, Picasso became inspired by traditional Congolese art, particularly for his Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907). Unlike Western tradition, the so-called “primitive” artists attempted neither to reproduce nature, nor ideal beauty, offering an alternative to the Western tradition that was in crisis [.../...]

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Tags: Pre-Columbian Art, Aboriginal Art, Native American Art, Oceanic Art, Asian Art, African Art, Events


A journey to the edge of anxiety: an interview with Olivier de Sagazan

By Artkhade with Art Media Agency

Paris, 2 March 2015

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Self-proclaimed “painter, sculptor, performer, who is constantly anxious yet fascinated by being ‘there’ without any understanding…” Olivier de Sagazan is a philosophical artist who takes his inspiration from Africa, where he was born, staging performances of terrifying dances which reflect his constant preoccupation with the meaning of life. AMA spoke to him and delved into the worrying world of this astonishing artist.

  • Can you present your career to us briefly?

O. S.: After my MA in biology, I had the chance to go to Cameroon for two years. These years really saved me, allowing me to take a step back and return to my roots: Africa, where I was born. Just before I left, I discovered, by looking at a Rembrandt painting, another amazing way of questioning life. Coming back, I spent a year locked up working on a comic strip, Ipsul ou la rupture du cercle, and then I immersed myself in painting and sculpture. Performance was something I worked on later, as a [.../...]

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Tags: Native American Art, African Art, Oceanic Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Aboriginal Art, Asian Art, Interviews, Events